Someone I Know has Leukaemia. You Know, the Hard One.

Last updated: October 2018

This has cropped up before.  I think I’ve written about it on this site, or at least mentioned it.  I think.  My memory isn’t great at the moment.  Unsurprisingly with cancer on the increase and more importantly, the general public’s awareness of blood cancer on the increase, comments like this are becoming more common. Especially when a friend or acquaintance has a friend or family member diagnosed with a blood cancer like Hodgkin lymphoma or non-Hodgkin lymphoma or AML - the more aggressive and acute version of what I have.

Sometimes, I’m told or it’s implied that my cancer is ‘easy’. And it upsets me. But I can’t really tell the person that they are wrong and that they couldn’t be further from the truth because they don’t mean to upset me or to say something so unfeeling. When they have someone they know and love who is in hospital, looking for a donor, hoping that a transplant will work, going through intensive chemotherapy and possibly radiotherapy too, they just see me and my hair and that I smile and appear to have a full and normal life. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Let me tell you how I really feel

Maybe I should tell them how it really is. How hard I find every day. That living with CML is not easy. That I’m not lucky. That it’s more challenging than they can ever imagine. Because I have my hair, people seem to think I'm ok... or maybe that’s my interpretation of it.  Because I have my hair, I think that people don’t realize how life is living with an invisible cancer.  It’s not their fault that they don’t realize this because, basically, cancer charities would never have someone like me on a poster raising awareness because who would donate money to someone who has hair?

But I know that no one wants to hear that. And if I did respond how I wanted to, I would have very few friends who would want to see me. Because they would think that I would just whinge and complain about it all. And believe it or not, I don’t... not really.  I use writing to get out all the anger and frustration.  I’m actually far happier in person than I suppose I seem on here!

This is my struggle

Would they think that being tired is an issue compared to everything else? Probably not. Would they see having their life being dictated in so many ways by the hospital a problem? Probably not. Would they think that me having to consider my fertility and if I can ever have a baby a difficult thing? Or at least see it as the massive thing that it is to me? Probably not.

So I excuse how I am in terms of what it is to me. I agree that CML is easier because it’s not an immediate threat to my life. And I agree that what the person they know is going through is horrific. Because it is. I do however struggle with CML and how it’s "easy." Because to me, it isn’t.

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